The anatomy of a viral Facebook post

A picture of a giant mug of root beer went viral on Facebook last month. Here’s why—as well as dos and don’ts for recreating the magic.

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It was a picture on the Visit Fallon page of an old Bob’s Root Beer sign—from a restaurant in Fallon, Nev., that closed seven years ago. More than 20,000 people saw the post, from a page that (originally) had a little over 650 “likes.”

So what happened? Why did it work? One word: nostalgia.

What response did it get?

At the time of the post, the Visit Fallon page had a little more than 650 fans, with a pretty decent response rate from those fans. After the Bob’s image was posted, 1,244 people “liked” it, 105 people shared it, and 161 people commented on it.

It went viral, and more than 21,000 people saw the post. “Likes” on the page increased by 15 percent. These numbers continue to increase as the post continues to surface on new pages and walls.

General comments such as, “I miss this place,” and, “They had the best root beer floats,” were common. A majority of the comments were people reminiscing about times they spent at Bob’s Root Beer.

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